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Beall, New Rockwell Chief, Raps Indictment of Firm

February 11, 1988|RALPH VARTABEDIAN | Times Staff Writer

Rockwell International President Donald R. Beall was elected chairman and chief executive of the firm Wednesday, as expected, and quickly launched a spirited attack on a recent government criminal indictment against the aerospace firm for alleged improper charging on contracts.

Speaking at Rockwell's annual shareholders meeting, held in Los Angeles, Beall said the federal indictment "is based on information we voluntarily provided to the government nearly a year and a half ago after our own extensive internal investigation of events that took place in 1982 and 1983."

He added that the company had voluntarily offered to repay the government in full and to take "appropriate management actions."

Later, at a press conference, Beall, who succeeded the retired Robert Anderson as chairman and chief executive, said he does not expect Rockwell to be suspended from receiving new government awards, an action that the Pentagon has taken in some past indictments of defense contractors.

On other matters, Beall said Rockwell has not given up hope that the Pentagon will eventually order more B-1 bombers, even though Rockwell will deliver the last of the bombers to the Air Force this spring.

"We don't have people banging on our doors today for more B-1s," Beall said during a press conference, "but we think it is entirely possible that as years go by and people begin to understand what the ATB

(Northrop's Advanced Technology Bomber) costs and what its performance is . . . that there could be a role for additional B-1s."

In the meantime, Beall said, Rockwell has offered its facilities at Palmdale to Northrop and its suppliers for the Advanced Technology Bomber program. "We do not have any takers at the moment," he said.

Beall said Rockwell does not foresee a layoff of employees in its defense programs beyond those already announced as a result of the apparent end of the B-1 program.

In other news, Rockwell increased its quarterly dividend on common stock to 18 cents a share from 16.5 cents, payable March 7 to stockholders of record on Feb. 22.

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